There are several ways to use the 4th Grade Common Core overview:
I created this overview for my 4th About 2/3 of the way through the school year, I showed them the one-page blank version of the overview (the one without problems) and told them, “These are all of 4th grade math standards, packed into 20 boxes! You can do this!” Seeing this limited amount of math made the Common Core standards feel manageable to them. We made a plan to spend the rest of the year mastering each of these concepts.
I handed them a copy of the one-page blank overview and asked them to write down a 1, 2, 3, or 4 in the top corner of each box (see scale below) as we talked about the types of problems that fit each learning target. I told them to be honest with themselves and me. I also pointed out that we had not yet covered all of the concepts, and that we would continue to strengthen our skills in all of these areas. I wanted them to feel OK about where they were. After all, this was about getting each kid to a “3” or “4” – it was OK if they weren’t there yet.
1 = I do not know how to do this!
2 = I think I can get started, but I’m not confident I can get an accurate answer.
3 = I can answer this type of problem accurately.
4 = I know two or more strategies for answering this type of problem.
In my classroom, I had kids rotate through math stations throughout the week. For a few weeks, one of the station activities was working through the large version of the overview with sample problems. I would circulate with a pen and put a star by problems that had been solved accurately, and where I could see work shown. For the most part, I did not focus on how the problem was solved. It was OK for the kids to use inefficient strategies. The focus was on understanding the concept and solving the problems accurately.
After kids had a chance to work through the overview, I handed back the one-page version of the overview, where they had pre-assessed themselves. I asked them to write down a new self-assessment score for each concept. Afterwards, we had a class conversation about the growth the kids had made, and which concepts still felt shaky. I took these and the worked-on packets to help me plan and differentiate lessons.
After a few weeks of math activities and support informed by the packets and self-assessment, I handed fresh copies of the overview to students, with new problems to match each learning target. These were to be treated as assessments. Students worked independently on them for a few math periods. As students handed them in, I checked them over and asked them to try again on problems they hadn’t solved accurately. I marked problems with a star if they were completed accurately, or an arrow if they needed to be tried again. This arrow helped me remember later which students had trouble with which problems. Once a student had completed the packet with 100% accuracy, I asked him or her to make example posters for each learning target that showed 2-3 neat strategies for solving each problem. These students also began to work as student leaders, helping students who had done as much as they could independently.
Along with several whole group and 1-on-1 conversations about this process, students walked their parents through the process and showed their work during student-led conferences. They showed their parents their self-assessment scores, their practice work, and their assessments.
End of Grade Preparation:
In the days leading up to the end of grade standardized tests, I used the overview as a reminder to my nervous students that there was not an endless amount of math on the test. They had seen it all and practiced it all, and they could do it!
Here is a preview, and here’s where you can buy it.